Water Efficiency Goal Guidance
The Department of Energy (DOE) developed guidance to assist in the interpretation of and ultimate compliance with Federal water requirements. The sections below outline available guidance and resources.
Meeting Executive Order 13514 Water Efficiency Goals
The Federal Water Working Group is currently developing guidance to aid Federal agencies with implementing E.O. 13514 water efficiency requirements, including defining industrial, landscaping, and agricultural water use, exemption process, and water reuse strategies. Guidance will be posted on this page as available.
Meeting Executive Order 13423 Water Efficiency Goals
Establishing Baseline and Meeting Water Conservation Goals of Executive Order 13423 (PDF 512 KB) identifies and presents key elements for meeting water efficiency goals. Download Adobe Reader. These elements include:
Water Use Intensity Baseline Development: Agencies must develop a water use intensity baseline (defined as gallons per gross square foot of facility space) for water consumed in fiscal year 2007. All future reduction goals will be measured relative to this baseline.
Reduction of Water Use Intensity: Agencies must identify and implement life-cycle cost-effective water savings measures to achieve a minimum of 2% annual reduction or 16% overall reduction of water use intensity (gallons per total gross square footage of facility space) in agency facilities by the end of fiscal year 2015.
Reporting: The primary requirement is to report to the Chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality according to a schedule and format as the chairman requires. Until that has been issued, reporting procedures in place as of January 24, 2007, shall be continued. Therefore, agencies are required to continue to report annual water use in million gallons and facility gross square feet (as defined below) to DOE showing the agency's progress towards the water use intensity reduction goal. Beginning in the 2008 report, DOE amended its energy data report to include guidance on accurate reporting of water consumption and water use intensity reduction data.
Water Efficiency Definitions
Below are important water efficiency definitions for Federal agencies to understand:
Water Use: Water classified as "potable" or permitted for human consumption. This includes water obtained from public water systems or from natural freshwater sources such as lakes, streams, and aquifers. Water use may include potable water used for drinking, bathing, toilet flushing, laundry, cleaning/food services, landscape watering, irrigation, and process applications such as cooling towers, boilers, and fire suppression systems.
Facility Gross Square Footage: The same value used to determine the energy use intensity related to agency energy reduction goals. The facility gross square footage is used to calculate the water use intensity (defined below).
Irrigated Landscape: Potable water used for landscape irrigation is to be reported in the agency total water use, but the square footage of landscape area is not included in the facility gross square footage, which is used to calculate water use intensity.
Water Use Intensity: Water use intensity, calculated for each individual agency, is defined as annual water use divided by total gross square footage of facility space (as defined above) reported in gallons per square foot. Agencies are required to report both water use (in million gallons) and facility gross square footage (in thousand square feet) in the DOE energy management data report. It should be noted that the water use intensity will be used to assess each agency's progress toward meeting the water reduction goal. It is not be suitable to make comparisons with other agencies water use or published standards.
Exemptions: Exemptions will be handled on a case-by-case basis. The head of a Federal agency may request an exemption for specific facilities or processes using the procedures outlined in Section 8 of E.O. 13423. The request should document efforts already taken to reduce water consumption and/or to substitute non-potable water for potable water uses for the specified facilities or processes. All cost-effective measures should have been considered and implemented and appropriately documented as part of the request. The request for an exemption must be renewed annually. A copy of the current exemption is to be submitted with the annual data report.
Agencies are encouraged to focus on reducing water consumption for the agency as a whole and concentrate their efforts on the facilities with the most potential. In accordance with that philosophy, agencies should seriously consider only submitting exemption requests at the agency level and only after all cost-effective water projects have been implemented.